A Pillow Book

I wanted a blog to reflect my life and, as with most people, I do and am many things, decided to create a Pillow Book. It will have thoughts, ideas, observations and little snippets of my day to day life. So, thank you Empress Consort Teishi....... I bow to you and your great work and hope, in some small way, mine might be great too.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Food parcels......

My family has a long history of sending food parcels. Way back in the 1940's my GI Bride aunt used to send big boxes of things from America to her family in a spartan England. My mum still speaks of her first ever real chocolate Easter Egg which arrived in the spring of her sister's first year across the Atlantic. When things got better

favourite foods would be sent from England to America, Cadburys chocolate, Battenburg cake, proper tea bags, Christmas cakes and puddings. Food travels, as long as it is packed well. When my daughter left for University in Cornwall two years ago, she begged that I not forget her when doing my Sunday baking. So now I keep boxes of various shapes and sizes in which to send delights from home. To me food is love, feeding my children is loving them. I burst in to tears in Sainsburys the day we dropped off my son, because I could see my nurturing coming to an end.....he didn't want the trolley filled, just milk and bacon.... But then there is the food parcel, my way of sending love to my children far away.... and I can't tell you how happy it makes me when I get excited phone calls from now two children when they receive their box of goodies.....seems my job hasn't ended just yet, only changed slightly.

I have tried and tested many brownie recipes over the years, and time and again have returned to this one. It is very easy, can be tweaked without things going badly wrong, it comes from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook, with a few changes, but as my son and now his flatmates say these are the......

Best Brownies Ever

200g chocolate (the recipe calls for dark, I use good old Cadburys for my family, but choose what you wish to your taste)
175g unsalted butter
325g sugar (the original recipe says caster, I use a mixture of soft light brown sugar as all white sugar it too sweet)
130g plain flour, sifted (I will quite often replace a couple of tablespoons with same of cocoa powder, again to give a bit more depth rather than teeth shocking sweetness)
3 eggs (at room temperature)
icing sugar to decorate (optional)
23cm square x 4cm deep tin lined and buttered (or equivalent 33 x23 x 5cm)

Preheat oven to 170 deg C (150 fan) 325 deg F Gas 3

Put chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Leave until melted and smooth.
Remove from the heat. Add sugar and stir until well incorporated. Add the flour and mix well, finally add the eggs and stir until smooth.

Spoon mixture into the prepared tin, bake for 30-35 mins until flaky on top but still soft in the centre. Be careful not to overcook. Leave to cool completely then dust with icing sugar.

I cut the whole thing into squares and place each square into a muffin case, looks good and travels well.

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